University funding system 'worst of both worlds'

The new university funding system has left many feeling worse off, the report warns. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The new university funding system has left students, institutions and the taxpayer feeling worse off, a new report warns.

Following major reforms, an "experiment" is under way in higher education which could have consequences for years to come, according to the Higher Education Commission.

In its new report, the Commission raises concerns that the university funding system is not sustainable for the future, with particular fears about growing levels of student debt.

The report, which comes after a nine-month inquiry, says there are fundamental questions to be asked about a system that charges higher education "at a rate where the average graduate will not be able to pay it back".

As well as student debt, the Commission says it has concerns about student numbers, especially the rapid expansion of undergraduates and a fall in postgraduates and part-time students.